EPA, DOT, CARB align timeframe for clean car proposal

New proposals for fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for model year 2017-25 light-duty trucks and cars are expected by Sept. 1, according to a joint timeframe announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of California. The announcement could extend the current National Clean Car Program, providing automakers certainty as they work to build the next generation of clean fuel-efficient light-duty trucks and cars.

“By working together with EPA and the California Air Resources Board to develop standards for the next generation of clean cars, we can set a standard that works for automakers across the country,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. ”Our continued collaboration is a win-win-win for the environment, businesses and the American consumer.”

Prior to the announcement, the California Air Resources Board had planned to propose greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017-25 this March, while EPA and NHTSA were working on an end-of-September timeline for their dual proposal. The single timeframe ensures that both proposals will come out simultaneously after a thorough joint review of all data available when the proposals are issued, according to EPA.

“The single timeframe is another great example of the cooperation that has led us to strong and achievable standards for clean cars in America,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “I’m proud to be working with my federal and state partners on this next step in the process to make the U.S. the world leader in fuel-efficient clean cars.”

Last May, President Obama announced that EPA, DOT and California would assess the performance and costs of a variety of technologies that could be available in model years 2017-25 as the first step in possibly extending the current national emissions and fuel economy standards. The three agencies completed an interim technology assessment and since have funded additional research critical to future rulemaking.

Current standards adopted in April 2010 by DOT and EPA for model year 2012-16 light-duty trucks and cars require vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile in model year 2016, which is equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon. In the fall of 2010, California accepted compliance with these federal GHG standards as meeting similar state standards it adopted in 2004, resulting in the first coordinated national program.